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Response to ellenrr (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 25, 2015, 08:40 AM

16. There are 7 billion of us and counting.

When you say "their lives matter less" you'd better say "to whom," because that's part of the phrase's meaning.

To you? To me? To somebody?

That nameless kid who died of hunger in the Sub-Saharan 23 seconds ago, did his life matter less than Laquan MacDonald's? If not, when are the protests scheduled for that kid's death--or the deaths of those who died since I started writing this? Unless we want to say he mattered less, I expect the same level of outrage over his death, and the deaths of the many hundreds of others who'll die today because of some injustice or inequality.

Or does that mean that the BLM protesters are mean-spirited and insensitive oafs, only looking out for some people because while the nameless kid is almost certainly black, he (or she) wasn't part of their group and that kid's death from starvation or disease has no bearing on the awesome, great BLM protesters' lives, deciding who's worthy of having their names said and who's not?

Or perhaps we can stop being Judge of mankind and come down off the cross we personally nailed ourselves onto.

That's the problem with primates. We're all part of some group. We value other groups less. We value those that we don't know less. We value those that we don't know about less. We value those whose suffering is unrelated to our own less. If Laquan MacDonald died of dysentery that he could have been treated but who refused treatment and not at the hands of a white cop, protesters wouldn't give a damn about his life because that wouldn't imply any threat for the protesters, wouldn't be a member of their group and reflect injustice across group lines, wouldn't have any bearing on their lives nor would it get their group any power or attention. Hell, if he'd been killed by somebody viewed as in his peer group he'd be mourned and buried by a small group of friends and family and otherwise unnoticed except on section B, page 3 of the Tribune.

The Paris attacks were done by outsiders to Parisian society and are relevant to the US. Many perceive greater cultural connections to Paris, even if it's because we saw "Les Mis" or read Balzac or know about Descartes or Robespierre. Many have been to Paris or want to. The war went to Paris. As with Boko Haram, the Tunisian attacks are local and involve local politics; they affect outside groups only to the extent the outside groups visit Tunisia, in effect going to the war. They are a local matter and will be dealt with locally; that may mean helping provide some intelligence, but no more. They matter more than an attack in, say, Libya, because Tunis is billed as an Arab-Spring success and we can't blame somebody else that's evil incarnate for it quite so easily.

Unless you're ready to give equal time to everybody, there's no point trying to browbeat others by accusing them of being unjust and unfair in how they choose to divide their own attention. However, there's a warning there: If everybody gets equal time, then that means everybody gets perhaps a couple of minutes' attention at the very most and no more before we move on to the next victim, with no time to go back.

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
ellenrr Nov 2015 OP
riversedge Nov 2015 #1
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #2
ellenrr Nov 2015 #3
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #4
ellenrr Nov 2015 #6
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #8
Bluenorthwest Nov 2015 #9
Tipperary Nov 2015 #11
Hiraeth Nov 2015 #15
LineLineLineReply There are 7 billion of us and counting.
Igel Nov 2015 #16
el_bryanto Nov 2015 #12
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #13
el_bryanto Nov 2015 #18
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #19
maxsolomon Nov 2015 #30
cui bono Nov 2015 #31
nitpicker Nov 2015 #5
malaise Nov 2015 #7
GreatGazoo Nov 2015 #10
Waiting For Everyman Nov 2015 #14
cwydro Nov 2015 #17
Scuba Nov 2015 #20
maxsolomon Nov 2015 #23
Scuba Nov 2015 #28
maxsolomon Nov 2015 #29
ellenrr Nov 2015 #21
BeyondGeography Nov 2015 #22
riderinthestorm Nov 2015 #24
maxsolomon Nov 2015 #25
uppityperson Nov 2015 #34
Matrosov Nov 2015 #26
daredtowork Nov 2015 #27
KamaAina Nov 2015 #32
Jim Lane Nov 2015 #33
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